This is a guest post, so I’m going right to my favorite beer. And, as it happens, it’s wet hop time in the beer world. Heavy Handed is the fresh or wet hop offering from Two Brother’s Brewery in Warrenville, IL. What makes this different than most breweries wet hop offerings, is that they do five separate single hop varieties of the same beer. Same recipe, but five distinctly different beers, due to the addition of a unique hop varietal in each beer.
This year, they offer up a Willamette, Centennial, Crystal and two Cluster varieties, listed as Fields One and Two. The only way to tell each apart is the serial number on the individual bottles. This is an above average IPA in its own right, but so much more interesting to be able to taste five different hops on their own.*
*Mikeller (the Danish brewery) does something similar, but a single bottle of their IPA can cost about the same as a six-pack of Heavy Handed.
Appearance: Beautiful orange with a subtle carbonation and head that dissipates, but leaves nice rings around your pint glass.
ABV: 6.7% The alcohol is not overly pronounced.
Aroma: Different with each. Everything from floral, to citrus, to pepper, which makes this such a fun offering.
Taste: Honestly, you could write five different reviews here. Willamette is very floral, Centennial has more citrus and the Cluster has a huge pepper profile. What makes this beer is the balance on the malt. The fact that you can have five different beers that are as interesting as these owe a lot to the backbone of the beer.
Mouthfeel: Balanced malt allows the fresh hops to shine, without overwhelming the beer. Caramel notes exist in the background, while the hops are the main player here. The carbonation is nice as well.
Drinkability: Lot’s of hops, so you aren’t going to go through a six-pack in a sitting. Not a session beer, but you can definitely handle a couple of these in session. I highly recommend finding a couple of different hop types and sampling them in succession to highlight the different hop profiles.
Overall: This is obviously a favorite of mine. But, the Wet and Fresh Hop beers of Fall are generally a favorite genre of mine as well. Two Brothers takes this to another level by offering up five unique beers, with the intent of making the Hops the star. Once a year we get to enjoy fresh hops. This is one of the best ways to do it.